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Old January 22, 2019, 11:49 AM   #1
cdoc42
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.45 Colt loads opinion

I have a box of .45 caliber Hornady 250gr XTP waiting to be hand loaded in my Taylor's .45 Colt 1873 single action. I also bought a box of Elmer Keith-style 255gr cast bullets. Is it important to keep the velocity of both of these under 1000 fps?
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Old January 22, 2019, 11:55 AM   #2
Centurion
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Yes. It is not a Blackhawk so you must keep pressures on the low side.
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Old January 22, 2019, 01:01 PM   #3
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I use 7-7.5g of Unique
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Old January 22, 2019, 01:26 PM   #4
Hawg
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7 grains of W 231 with the 255 Keith. You can double charge the case but the powder lasts a lot longer.
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Old January 22, 2019, 02:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Is it important to keep the velocity of both of these under 1000 fps?
Its difficult to exceed 1000fps with those bullets in a Colt class gun, safely.

Usually the question is asked "can I get those bullets to 1,000fps?" Not, "how important is it to stay under.." interesting turn of phrase.

I have generations of loading manuals, and the even the oldest Lymans do show MAX LOADS in .45 Colt cracking the 1000fps barrier, using longer barrel Colt SAA as test guns. A MAX load out of a 5.5" Colt will get 900s, maybe just barely break 1000fps.

Every gun is different, and even though their Colt test gun handled XX.X as a max load doesn't automatically mean that your's will. Work up in small steps, carefully!

You CAN overload the .45 Colt to pressures that will wreck your gun. Elmer Keith blew up (at least) 3 .45 Colt SAAs working with heavy loads, before switching to the .44 Special guns (which have thicker chamber walls) and developing the load that became the .44 Magnum.

Keeping them under 1,000fps is easy. Simply don't load them hot. The old Lyman manual's "factory duplication load" was 7.5gr Unique for a 250gr bullet. You might find you don't need to go anywhere else...
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Old January 22, 2019, 05:11 PM   #6
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As per Lyman manuals, even 9 grains of Unique won't give you more than 900 fps with 255 gn bullets.
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Old January 22, 2019, 05:34 PM   #7
cdoc42
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Super responses! Thanks to all. I'll check out W231 and Unique in the various reference that I have, keeping in mind your suggested loads......
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Old January 22, 2019, 09:30 PM   #8
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
Is it important to keep the velocity of both of these under 1000 fps?
Howdy

I have said this a bazillion times, but I will say it again.

Excess velocity does not blow up firearms, excess pressure blows them up.

Setting a speed limit of X fps does not address the question of how much pressure is a specific load generating. Different bullets and different powder charges can easily have widely different pressures while achieving the same velocity.

End of standard lecture.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) Max pressure for standard 45 Colt loads is 14,000 psi. Italian revolvers, which is what I am assuming your Taylors is, are all proofed in government proof houses to standards slightly hotter than SAAMI standards. So your Taylors revolver should be able to accept any standard ammunition that does not exceed SAAMI Max pressure.

The rub is, no standard ammunition manufactured in this country publicizes what pressure it develops. One has to accept that it will be under the SAAMI Max pressure standard.

Likewise, very few reloading manuals specify what pressure their recipes generate. The only one in my collection that lists pressure is Richard Lee, and for 45 Colt he lists CUP (Copper Units of Pressure) rather than PSI.

However, most responsible reloading manuals will have tested their recipes in pressure barrels and will list Maximum loads that do not exceed SAAM Max pressure.

Quote:
The old Lyman manual's "factory duplication load" was 7.5gr Unique for a 250gr bullet. You might find you don't need to go anywhere else...
These days I mostly load 45 Colt with Black Powder. But 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250 grain lead Round Nosed Flat Point bullet was my normal standard 45 Colt Smokeless load. My reloading notebook says it achieved about 800 fps out of a 7 1/2" Ruger Vaquero barrel. I have no idea what a good load would be for 45 caliber Hornady 250gr XTP bullets.

I do suggest you buy a decent reloading manual and do a little bit of research for yourself.
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Old January 22, 2019, 10:04 PM   #9
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Best grouping I ever seen from a 45 colt clone on paper. A 5 gr. charged (or there about's) of Bullseye. Problem is. Bullseye when accidentally doubled charged its not a oops forgiving powder.
In this application I too would suggest the use of Win 231 or Hodgdon HP-38 as did that old feller Hawg also suggest.
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